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Turkish and Syrian ambassadors clash at UN Security Council

The Turkish and Syrian ambassadors at the U.N. are clashing at their first Security Council encounter since Turkey launched a cross-border offensive earlier this month.

Turkish Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioglu called it a limited counter-terrorism operation “to eliminate the longstanding existential terror threat along our border with Syria” and “to enforce Syria’s territorial integrity and unity.”

Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari said his government “condemns in the strongest terms the Turkish aggression, and vehemently rejects attempts by the Turkish regime to justify its actions under the pretext of self-defence or countering terrorism.”

The council met Thursday on Syria’s humanitarian situation, but members’ concerns were topped by a Russian-Turkish cease-fire agreement for the border region and prospects for next week’s first meeting of a committee to draft a new Syrian constitution.

The Associated Press